Posters aren’t just for dorm room walls. In fact, posters can help your business communicate a variety of important information, engage employees, support your company’s charitable efforts and much more.
Let’s talk about the 12 types of posters for every business need and explore design tips for ensuring you get the biggest bang for the buck (one of the best ways to do that is using a business poster template).
Click to jump ahead:
Why should businesses use posters?
Businesses should use posters for the same reason they use things like infographics, flyers and other marketing materials — to get their message across. But the big benefit of posters vs. those other materials is their sheer size. Because they’re usually designed to be printed at sizes including letter, A4 and tabloid, they are generally more attention-getting than their smaller counterparts.
And for some businesses, depending on where they are located, posters might be mandated by labor laws. (Check out this U.S. Department of Labor resource for more info.)
Of course, that doesn’t mean posters need to be boring; in fact, quite the opposite is true. Here are some of my favorite ways businesses can use posters for a variety of needs (and some tips for how to pull them off).
12 types of posters your business needs
Click on each type to learn more:
- Marketing posters
- Scientific posters
- Event posters
- Medical posters
- Infographic posters
- HR posters
- Movie posters
- Issue posters
- Tip posters
- Advertising posters
- Sports posters
- Research posters
This is perhaps the most obvious and important use for business posters, aside from the aforementioned legally required ones. Marketing is a big umbrella, and so many poster approaches fall under it. But the bottom line for a marketing poster is that it is designed to promote your brand and/or its products.
While this poster was designed to promote healthcare and medical services, it’s easy to adapt it to apply to the goods and services your business offers. Simply modify the text and add a photo or series of icons that speak to what you do.
This workshop event poster is an excellent template for use as a general marketing poster in which you’re sharing what services you offer. Add or change icons and text to represent your company’s chief offerings (or the ones you want to draw the most attention to).
If your business offerings lend themselves to a literal visual interpretation, then letting a photograph or illustration take up the most space on the page is a no-brainer, as in this poster example. Venngage for Business offers hundreds of options for images, or you can upload your own.
Marketing poster design tips
- Bright colors can go a long way, but try not to go overboard. Too many bright colors risks overwhelming the audience instead of visually enticing them.
- Always try to match the illustration style with your business. If you have a whimsical brand or topic, lean into a more cartoonish or stylized illustration style
- Be mindful when using photos to illustrate your poster of how text will play next to or over the top. If you worry your text won’t be legible, add a subtle shaded box behind the text in question. That’ll have the added benefit of calling extra attention to that bit of information.
If you’re like me, science wasn’t exactly your best subject. (It’s no wonder I became a professional writer.) But a scientific poster can help even the most science-averse people understand complex concepts, whether they relate to the natural world or the human body.
Think of this science poster as a Cliff’s Notes version of the complicated scientific process of osmosis. By breaking the subject down into digestible sections and offering real-world examples, readers get exactly what they need without becoming confused.
Of course, scientific posters don’t simply have to be blocks of text, though that’s an approach that can work, as we’ve seen. But in this poster example exploring photosynthesis, the designer used a photo of lush greenery and very little text to get their point across.
Science poster design tips
- Lean into the science aspect of your poster by choosing a realistic depiction of the subject in question, if appropriate.
- If I haven’t said it already, science can be a complex topic, so a word of advice is to make your scientific posters simple. Try using just a few colors and subtle artwork.
- This goes for every type of poster, so don’t skip over this just because you think it won’t apply: when it comes to text on a poster, less is more.
Getting people to come to your business events can be a challenge, but you can help entice them with an informative and engaging event poster. From job fairs to charity galas, boost your registrations with a sharp-looking event poster.
Event purpose and design marry perfectly in this cultural event poster for an art show. The background here may not be right for your event, but this is undeniably an eye-catching event poster.
If you’re in a wordier mood, this event poster may be ideal for you. While it’s got much more text than the previous version, it also gives the reader more information about what’s in store for them at the event. Simply update the text, icons, headers and main image as necessary.
The people in my neighborhood never put up garage sale posters like this one, but it’s probably because they don’t use Venngage. And while your business may not have a specific need for a garage sale poster, chances are this simple, can’t-miss-it poster could be useful in a variety of ways.
Event poster design tips
- Don’t make people go hunting for the info they need. Put the date, time and location front and center.
- When creating a poster for a recurring event, keep in mind that each event is likely to have new participants, so you should keep the basic information explaining the poster on each new version.
- If your event is described in just a few words, blow them up as big as you can.
For companies in the medical and healthcare fields, communicating accurately and effectively with people is critical, as you may be doing things like making them aware of what options are available, educating them about avoiding certain conditions or bringing attention to important medical issues. Medical posters run the gamut of topics.
Encourage good habits when it comes to all matters of health with this dental education poster template. Simply update the text and imagery to apply to the field of expertise applicable to your business or medical practice.
Share important symptoms and risk factors for diseases or even death with a medical poster like this one. Use appropriate imagery and icons to reinforce the medical information you’re sharing.
Give your employees, patients or clients guidance about how to avoid getting sick with this hand-washing poster. We all probably learned more than we thought we needed to know about washing our hands over the past few years, but it’s important not to get complacent.
Medical poster design tips
- Answering the questions your patients’ frequently ask is a great starting place for a medical poster, and it shows that you are engaged with the people you serve.
- When it comes to medical posters, it’s often the case that more is more, such as when sharing the symptoms of a potentially deadly condition. You want your readers well-informed about important matters.
- When sharing steps a poster, it’s a good idea to include an icon or image for each one so that the reader will make that connection in their mind and avoid skipping an important step.
My background is in data visualization, so I’m always going to preach the gospel of infographics. But that doesn’t have to mean a long, scrolling image; it can also mean a punchy, exciting infographic poster.
Data visualization is the sole focus of this poster, which summarizes the results of an academic study. With large text, a chart and a table, the reader can see at a glance those results, and because charts and graphs are used, they are more likely to remember what they read.
Infographic posters don’t have to share tons of data points to qualify; in fact, the fewer the better, as this ocean pollution infographic poster illustrates.
This poster timeline infographic is a good example of how you can break with the traditional approach of an infographic and still help readers grasp your data. A lot of designers would have used a bar or column graph to compare this data, but the subtle size change between the marks does the trick.
Infographic poster design tips
- Infographic posters with lots of data can feel overwhelming, so it’s usually a good idea to use another design principle to draw readers in, such as a striking color palette or bold headline.
- When using just a single data point, it helps to have imagery or iconography that speaks to the issue.
- The reason to create an infographic poster is to share and visualize data, so lean into charts, graphs, maps and other forms of data visualization.
Aside from labor-related posters, there are tons of reasons for HR departments to use posters. From advertising company events to informing people about job openings, an HR poster is probably going to be more well-read than a boring email.
Advertise your company’s upcoming job fair or your participation in a larger community job fair with this HR poster template. Swap out the photograph for one of your building, especially if it’s well-known in your field.
Of course, the HR department is not just about hiring new people but making sure your current team is as well-functioning as possible. So consider creating posters like this one to offer your guidance and wisdom about how to do their jobs (and work with each other) in the best possible way.
Your team may not be aware of everything the HR department does or where to go if they have questions about their benefits. An engaging poster like this one will remove all doubt.
HR poster design tips
- There may be mandated fine print you have to include, such as that you’re an equal-opportunity employer, so be sure to leave enough room for it.
- Use simple, clear language so that nobody on the team could be confused by the point of the poster.
- If you’re creating a poster for a recent incident, craft it in such a way that those involved retain their privacy and dignity.
No business use case for movie posters, you say? We disagree. After all, what better way to promote an event or encourage employees to volunteer for your chosen charity than by creating a take on an iconic movie poster?
What makes this movie poster for “Titanic” so successful is that it relies on our shared knowledge of this movie (and the real-life Titanic tragedy) by showing a boat approaching an iceberg. You probably don’t need to have seen the movie to understand what is being shown here.
Of course, movie posters for your business don’t have to literally be about a movie. Rather, they can promote our shared love of movies, as this movie night fundraiser poster does.
The cool, noir style of this movie poster would be a great match for a company that has an edgy, youthful brand, as your internal and external audiences would feel it aligns perfectly with who you are.
Movie poster design tips
- A minimalist style only works when there’s a singular idea that can be represented visually, and sometimes that takes a little more playing around.
- It’s usually good to avoid too many cliches, but when it comes to movies, popcorn is so iconic that it has moved beyond a cliché. *insert popcorn-eating gif*
- Take advantage of the natural orientation of standard poster sizes by going highly vertical with your design, whether that means running the main title vertically or using highly vertical imagery.
Surveys have shown that most workers want their employers to take a stand, and one way to show your solidarity with an important issue is through a poster. Whether you’re speaking out on one side of an issue or simply offering information and inspiration, issue posters can help you connect with your team.
Understanding and acceptance of mental health is growing every day, so give your audience resources and tips to help maintain their mental health. Whether you offer special healthcare benefits, such as therapy, or simply want to make it known that you’re there to help, an issue poster around mental health could really resonate with your team.
Throw your support behind important social justice issues. In this case, the designer created this poster around the Women’s March, but you could update the artwork and details to encourage your team to attend rallies in support of any important topic.
There are some topics that you can’t (and shouldn’t) avoid talking about, and this Ukraine peace poster leans into the news of the day. Use this poster or create your own tied to what’s happening in your community to show your customers, clients and employees that you’re engaged with what’s going on around you.
Issue poster design tips:
- Show real people, if appropriate. Humans want to connect with other humans (and animals), so using real photography is typically the best route.
- Be ready for blowback. Not every person will share your views, but if you’re taking a controversial stand, you have your reasons, so be prepared to defend your position.
- Particularly when it comes to posters for internal audiences, remember that your employees have lives outside of the office, and not every issue can (or should) be left at the door.
Let’s face it: People rarely read every email they get sent. Often, that’s the case when the sender is the company, but if you have important and useful advice to share, you want it to be seen. What to do? Make a poster out of it. Tip posters can help you distill your wisdom into a few key points, making them more impactful.
Share your wisdom with your team by creating a simple tip poster using this template. Update the sections to make them relevant to your area of expertise and modify the icons as needed.
Try to go beyond the standard advice when creating a tip poster. After all, you should assume that your audience already has a basic level of knowledge about the subject matter if they’re looking for tips and not basic instruction. (Even if it’s not about shoes, as this one is, your nuanced take will go a long way.)
Most of us probably lost a step or two thanks to the pandemic, and it’s always good to have a refresher. Use this poster template to remind your team about aspects of their jobs they might have forgotten, say, since their last training.
Tip poster design tips:
- Be brief. Remember these are tips not semester-long courses.
- Offer them something they don’t already know, or state what they do know in a way that makes them take a different perspective.
- Use icons and imagery to help the reader remember the information.
A close cousin to marketing posters, advertising posters can inform internal and external audiences about your company’s goods and services. These tend to be more promotional than marketing posters, meaning they could help you, say, advertise a sale or a location change.
Advertise your goods or services in an illustrated list format with this healthcare services poster. Not in the healthcare field? Simple, just update the iconography and color scheme to match your brand and update the bulleted list with the products or services you want to boost.
Let your audience know you’ll be taking part in an industry event by advertising using this tech conference poster template. Find an image of the venue or the city where the event will take place to really entice people to read the poster (and check out your booth at the event).
A sale is as good a reason as any for your business to create a poster. If you’re printing your posters, think about timeliness, and be sure that it lists when the sale ends so you don’t have to have difficult conversations with disgruntled customers.
Advertising poster design tips:
- Use the ads you’ve already created and rearrange them to quickly turn your existing materials into posters.
- Be sure to include your logo and website to reinforce your brand identity.
- If advertising a sale or limited-time offer, be sure to mention the parameters; you could face a legal claim for false advertising otherwise.
As with our movie poster examples, one great way to make sure your team is being engaged by the posters you’re creating is to put them into a familiar context. And athletic endeavors naturally lend themselves to posterization, so consider using one of these sports posters as inspiration for your next poster.
This poster was designed to let people know about team tryouts, but your business could use it to spread the word about your involvement in a recreational league or upcoming team night at a local sporting event.
The sport of boxing has one of the most iconic poster styles with the visuals literally pitting one fighter against another side-by-side. You probably don’t work as a boxing promoter, but your business could benefit from a side-by-side comparison between you and a competitor.
While sports posters lend themselves to cool and energetic photography, illustrations also have their place, especially if they’re fun and trendy like this one.
Sports poster design tips:
- If the purpose of your poster isn’t literally about sports, that doesn’t mean you can’t still use a sports metaphor. For example, you may want to create a poster surrounding a sale that will coincide with the Super Bowl (of course, you might want to say “the big game” for legal reasons — or maybe not).
- Most companies these days refer to their employees as team members, so sports posters are a natural fit for internal needs. Think about what time of year it is when creating your poster. For example, baseball isn’t exactly a winter sport.
- Not everyone loves sports, so be sure to offer multiple ways of reaching out on whatever topic you’re creating the poster for.
Like scientific and medical posters, research posters are used to convey important information in a clear and eye-catching way. That could mean distilling a complicated topic to its essential bits or making a process seem more manageable.
This research poster template summarizes the findings of academic research into a new drug. By making bite-sized sections of information, the designer here was able to ensure that people will understand the information better and feel less overwhelmed by the prospect of reading the full paper.
Here’s another example of a research poster that breaks down a study. In this case, the designer used the scientific method as a guide, using the research steps as the main segment headings.
Summarize the results of your study using data visualization in order to help the reader understand what they’re looking at. Studies have shown that charts and graphs can enhance information retention, so they are a natural fit when it comes to research posters.
Research poster design tips
- Make sure the reader understands the purpose of the poster at a glance. This is best done by putting the central research question or topic in or near the title.
- There’s no one way to design your research poster. You can even put the section headings down the center of the page and flip them on their sides and *still* have the reader understand how to absorb the info.
- You don’t have to summarize every area of the research; hit the important points and push the reader to the web or a publication for more info.
Do you have more questions about using posters for your business? We’ve got answers.
What are the different types of posters?
We’ve highlighted 12 types of posters, but the truth is there are unlimited types of posters. However, when it comes to what you can print, there are just a few types, including letter, A4 and tabloid. Sizes larger than tabloid will require a special printing house to take on the job.
What is the most common type of poster?
The type of poster we see most often is a tabloid poster, which is 11×17 inches.
What are the six key features of a poster?
The six key features of a poster are: title, content, imagery, typography, call to action and logo.
In summary: Go big with your brand’s story by creating an engaging and informative poster
Posters aren’t just for advertising movies or celebrating sports heroes. There are dozens of ways you can tell your company’s story, engage with employees and attract customers by creating eye-catching posters.